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Policy Analysis for Educational Leaders : A Step-by-Step Approach,9780137016006
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Policy Analysis for Educational Leaders : A Step-by-Step Approach

by
Edition:
1st
ISBN13:

9780137016006

ISBN10:
013701600X
Format:
Hardcover
Pub. Date:
1/23/2012
Publisher(s):
Pearson
List Price: $130.60

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Summary

Methodological in focus and educational in context, Policy Analysis for Educational Leaders: A Step-by-Step Approachpresents a guide to the study of educational policy analysis. This text not only discusses and evaluates existing educational policy and relevant literature, but offers a walk through that leads readers through the stages of successful policy analysis while providing the background and foundational knowledge that educational administrators need to understand and implement. This text offers instruction for aspiring school leaders on not only how to understand and study educational policy, but how to do it themselves.

Author Biography

Nicola A. Alexander is an Associate Professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. Her formal educational background is in public administration and policy; she is particularly interested in issues of adequacy, equity, and productivity as they relate to PK-12 education. Dr. Alexander is a board member of the National Education Finance Association and has published in American Educational Research Journal, Educational Policy, Journal of School Business Management, and Journal of Education Finance.

Table of Contents

 

Dedication


Chapter 1: Laying the groundwork

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Why should leaders study policy analysis

Players on the leadership landscape

What policy analysis can do

The role of persuasion

Users of policy analysis

Why use this text?

What is policy analysis?

A brief definition

Why policy analysis?

The goal of policy analysis

Types of policy analysis

Ex Post and Ex Ante Analysis

Forecasting, prescribing, monitoring, evaluating

Rational, Structural, Cultural Lens

Transparency versus Objectivity

Philosophies of education

Values: Cornerstone of worldviews and philosophies

Brief overview of worldviews

Eight common values

Defining philosophy

Key philosophies and their role in education policy

Idealism

Realism

Pragmatism

Phenomenology and existentialism

Neo-Marxism

Postmodernism and critical theory

Policy values in action

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 2: Getting started at the beginning: thinking of policy analysis as problem analysis

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Where do you start?

The role of leaders

Policy analysis as problem analysis

The problem is the beginning of analysis

Differences between condition, policy problems, and policy issues

The policy analysis process

The complexities of policy analysis

Policy analysis versus policymaking

The role of policy analysts

Phases in policymaking

Problem stream

Politics stream

Policy stream

Stages of the policy-making process

Issue definition Agenda setting

Policy formulation

Policy adoption Policy implementation Policy evaluation

Policy Analysis is not Policy Evaluation

Focusing on the problem

Policy evaluation

Policy evaluation as feedback

Policy evaluation as summative judgment

Going beyond evaluation

The steps to policy analysis

The craft of policy analysis

Key questions of the policy analysis process

Creating a policy analysis roadmap

Ten steps of policy analysis

Define the problem

Make the case

Establish your driving values

Come up with alternatives

Weigh your options

Make recommendation

Persuade us

Implement solution

Monitor outputs

Evaluate outcomes

Stepping stones of policy analysis

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 3: Taking the first step: Define the problem

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Structuring the problem

Writing a clear description of the problem

Different phases in problem structuring

Problematic Characteristics of policy problems

Personal versus policy problem

Interdependence of problems

Subjectivity and artificiality of structuring policy problem

Dynamic nature of policy problems

Building on your condition statement

Making the condition a problem

Scope of the problem

Bounding the problem

Who is included?

Causes of the problem

Rational perspective

Institutional perspective

Cultural perspective

Goals and objectives of solving the problem identified

The goal is the obverse of the problem

Objectives are working definitions of goals

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 4: Make the case by assembling the evidence

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Purpose of assembling the evidence

Functions of research

Transforming data into evidence

Assessing the nature and extent of the problem

Assessing the particular features of an identified policy situation

Assessing past policies

Using the purpose of the evidence to determine what is needed

Evidence for monitoring

Evidence for prescription\

Evidence for evaluation

Evidence for forecasting

Determining the value of specific data

How do you make good use of data

Building your argument

Assessing data contexts

How to locate relevant sources

People and documents are key

Collection strategies

Data from people within and without your organization

Data from documents from within and without your organization

How to categorize types of data

Quantitative or qualitative debate

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 5: Establish your driving values

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

What do you care about?

Establish evaluative criteria

Relationship between values and criteria

What does success look like?

What are the specific criteria that frame policy decisions

Does it work?

How will you know?

Is it fair?

Horizontal equity

Vertical equity

Transitional equity

Ability to pay

Benefits principle

Can we afford it?

What is the role of economics?

Opportunity costs

Private versus public benefits

Market failures

Provision versus production

Counting the costs

Costs versus benefits

Decision tools

How can you tell?

Using the economic tools

Cost-benefit analysis

Will people support it?

How acceptable is the alternative to different groups?

What factors will influence the political acceptability of policy?

How can you measure the acceptability of a policy?

How can you change the acceptability of policy intervention?

Who will implement it?

Is there sufficient administrative capacity?

What are the major organizational limitations?

How can you tell?

Difference from the status quo

Policy instrument

Personnel support

Available resources

What if the criteria conflict?

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 6: Come up with alternatives

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

What are alternatives?

Alternatives are not outcomes

Alternatives are not an implementation plan

Basic alternatives and their variants

Finding alternatives by modeling the system

The metaphor of the market

Production metaphor

Evolutionary models

Doing nothing different

How do you generate alternatives

Sources of alternatives

Generic alternatives

Customizing policy interventions

Policy types

Policy mechanisms and best practice context

Inducements

Capacity-building

System change

Mandates

Hortatory

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 7: Weigh your options (Evaluating alternatives)

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

How do you weigh your options?

Anticipating the future

Safeguards in forecasting

Discussing relevant criteria

Measuring effectiveness

Measuring equity

Measuring costs

Measuring political feasibility

Measuring implementability

Packaging your alternatives

Distinguishing between alternatives

Using quick quantitative analysis

Creating a scorecard

Evaluating alternatives – single step, “norm based” approach

Evaluating alternativestwo-step, “criterion-base” approach

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 8: Make Recommendation

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Transforming tradeoffs into preferred results

Beyond eenie, meenie, minie, moe

Role of the analyst

Transform values into results

Education leader as researcher, bureaucrat, or entrepreneur

Policy analyst as advisor and decision maker

Need for advocacy

Value laden arguments

Ethically complex arguments

Is there one best way?

Refine approaches to recommendation

Testing the credibility of your recommendation

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 9: Persuade us

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

The art of communication

How to convey your analysis

Who is your audience?

Expectations of audience

Audience knowledge and understanding

Audience response to solution

Audience forum

Homogenous or diverse

Complete or abridged analysis

Time

Making the policy argument

Authority

Method

Generalization

Classification

Cause

Sign

Motivation

Intuition

Analogy

Parallel case

Ethics

Checklist of communicating analysis

Timeliness

Clarity of findings

So what?

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 10: Implement recommended action

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Setting the stage for change

Why won’t it work

Creating an implementation plan

Outline the plan

Expand the outline

Check your plan

Implementing strategically

Major implementation challenges

Human (people-related) problems

Process (program-related) problems

Structural (setting-related) problems

Institutional (program; setting-related) problems

Stages in implementation

Mobilization

Implementation proper

Institutionalization

Chapter summary

Review questions

News story for analysis

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 11: Monitor outputs of action

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

What is monitoring?

Functions of monitoring

Compliance

Accounting

Auditing

Explanation

What should we track?

Functions, data, and data sources

Three key monitoring questions

Why should we track these data?

Who should track the required data?

How often should we track these data?

Methods of tracking

Establishing baselines

Determining what change is being measured

Measurement across space and time

Units of analysis

Displaying data

Chapter summary

Review questions

News Story for Analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

 

Chapter 12: Evaluate outcomes

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Evaluating versus monitoring

Focus of evaluation

Types of evaluation

Purpose of evaluation

Formative evaluations

Summative evaluations

Users of evaluation

Approaches to evaluation

Methods of evaluation

Components of an evaluation plan

Analytical considerations

Common methods of assessment

Randomized control trials

Direct controlled experiments

Quasi-experimental models

Matching

Before and after comparisons

With and without comparisons

Non-experimental direct analysis

Political considerations

Chapter summary

Review questions

News Story for Analysis

Discussion Questions S

elected websites S

elected references

 

Chapter 13: Concluding remarks and Pullout Field guide

Chapter objectives

Education vignette

Remember why we do policy analysis

Policy analysis and you

Policy analysis and the community

Policy analysis and change

Policy analysis and evaluation

An Illustration of the steps in Policy Analysis using an existing policy example Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Define the problem

Make the case

Establish your driving values

Come up with alternatives

Weigh your options

Make recommendation

Persuade us

Implement solution

Monitor outputs

Evaluate outcomes

Chapter summary

Review questions

News Story for Analysis

Discussion Questions

Selected websites

Selected references

Summary of checklist for each step (Pullout field guide)

 

References



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